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20110731
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services and a surge of combat vets from the iraq and afghanistan wars entering the system, the demand for v.a. health care services has increased dramatically in recent years. this bill provides $58.6 billion for v.a. discretionary funding, $2.3 billion over current funding. the bill also includes $52.5 billion in fy 2013 advanced appropriations for vets' medical care. one of the very few areas in which this bill provides an increase in funding is v.a. medical research, which is $72 million over the budget request to restore funding to the current level. with little room to maneuver on the v.a. side of the ledger, the vast majority of the savings in the bill comes from incrementing or defunding certain military construction projects. the bill provides $13.7 billion for military construction, $1 billion below the request. the milcon reductions in the bill are restricted to the active-duty components. the guard and reserve components, family housing, barrack and other accounts are fully funded at the president's request. every military construction project funded in this bill is authori
, reduced spending on the wars in afghanistan and iraq and through targeted cuts to mandatory spending. it doesn't raise taxes and it doesn't touch medicare, medicaid or social security. again, this is not a perfect plan. i have been on the floor many times in favor of a balanced package that includes cuts to spending, domestic, defense and mandatory, but also includes increased revenues. the reid princess plan doesn't e those goals -- the reid plan doesn't achieve those goals but i hope we will get there eventually. this is not a proposal i would have written, but i'm one of more than 100 members of the senate and more than 535 members of congress, and i don't get everything i want. none of us here in congress get everything we want. that's the nature of compromise. that's the nature of democracy, and that's why the framers of the constitution created checks and balances in government. that's why they created two chambers in congress and three branches of government, and when you're a leader in government, you just don't have the luxury of drawing a line in the sand and walking away.
in afghanistan in a strategy of nation building that is not the best use of our national security, not the best use of our soldiers who are there to fight for our national security, but those are decisions that were made in the past. and we must pay the bill on those decisions even when i disagreed with them. and then we need to put together a plan that takes on our deficit and our debt, and that plan has to put all of the options on the table. some of my colleagues across the aisle, they said, well, we want to protect the tax spending programs where we've tucked in tax provisions for the wealthy and the well connected. we want to defend those. we don't want to touch those for the best-off americans. but we want to cut the programs for working americans. that is unacceptable. we have seen enormous increase in the disparity between the wages and welfare of our citizens in general and the best-off becoming much, much wealthier proportionately. we can't continue to say that we're going to protect the well-connected while attacking working families. that's not the america we want to build. we want
billion in iraq and afghanistan to train the security forces, less than $10 billion to retrain our work force for the jobs of the future. well, mr. president, i see others have come on the floor. i'll wrap this up. deficit reduction is important. i'm not saying it isn't. but it is not the single-most important thing right now. the single-most important thing is to put people back to work. that will, as senator wyden said earlier, start to create the demand. it will spur more private investment as the federal government begins to invest in the future of this country. that's where we ought to be focusing on. once we get the wheels going again, once we get people back to work and the economy start to to -- starts to grow, that's when we start to reduce the deficit. to just focus on deficit reduction right now to the exclusion of putting people back to work reminds me of when doctors used to put leaches on people who were ill. it only made them more ill because it drained more blood out of their system. and most times proved fatal, as it did to our first president, george washington. our ur
social security but not the wife of a soldier in afghanistan. that's not such a good idea. maybe we won't pay the veterans benefit. we'll pay the idea. not such a good idea. what about those 12 million to 15 million students head ofd to college in the next few weeks with a student grant or staopbt loan from the federal government?shall we pay those je public colleges take care of their own? you see what can happen if we had a country, especially a country like the united states, which instead of paying all of its obleses on time, whether it is to china or japan or grandma or to the veteran, that we begin to selectively pay those bills when we had the money. i think i know what would happen. instead of being able to borrow money for ten years at 3%, we might have to pay a little more for it. let's say it just went from 3% to 4%, what would mean to us? it would mean, according to the congressional budget office, that the taxpayers would have to pay $1.3 trillion more in interest over ten years. so if it goes up to 5%, that's twice that. or it goes up to 3% -- that's what happens when you
a war of necessity in afghanistan, keeping us there far longer than necessary, at an additional cost of $430 billion, unpaid for. a total cost for both wars, unpaid for, of $1.2 trillion. the republican party that will not now agree to one penny in revenue and demands only more spending cuts has fought to make tax breaks for the wealthy permanent that would cost this nation another $5 trillion. their favorite big business in wall street and a tax code that has resulted in major multibillion-dollar corporations paying no taxes -- yes, no taxes at all. in fact, a detailed government accountability office study of corporate income taxes from 1998-2005 showed that 55% of large u.s. corporations reported no, no tax liability for at least one of those eight years. yet, those same republicans will look us in the eye in defense of their defenseless position and tell us that most individuals do not pay taxes either. what they will not say is that those individuals who do not pay taxes do not pay taxes for a reason. they do not earn enough to pay income tax, and many of them are among the poor
afghanistan and iraq is just not credible. we don't know what the obstacles are going to be in afghanistan and possibly iraq. we also don't know what we might have to do in the middle east going forward. afghanistan is not settled, mr. president, and we have to have a certain level of stability on the ground in afghanistan or we will have wasted the billions that we have already spent and the lives of our military personnel in afghanistan because it will go back to the way it was before, a center for terrorism that will come to our country or can come to our country. it did once already and we have been over there to try to wipe out al qaeda and the taliban, which has been in league with al qaeda. we have been over there losing american lives and spending american taxpayer dollars to protect our country from another 9/11. to say that we're going to cut $1 trillion in the future over the next ten years when we aren't placing the emphasis on what are the conditions on the ground is not sound policy and it's certainly not sound national security policy. so that's illusory. and then the other
Search Results 0 to 6 of about 7

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